Monarch on Butterfly Weed
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – OLETA RIVER STATE PARK, FL
This photo of a Monarch Butterfly on Butterfly Weed was taken at the Oleta River State Park in Florida. This park is located off of 163rd Street just west of the Sunny Isles Bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway. This park has some great walking and biking trails to enjoy, as well as kayak rentals.
The camera used in this pic is a Nikon D90 with a Nikkor 60mm 2.8 closeup lens attached to a Tamron 2x teleconverter.
DID YOU KNOW:
Monarch butterflies are the most colorful and most beautiful of all butterflies, but there are many more facts about monarch butterflies that the people who have been studying them for years, entomologists, students, and others, have found out.
Did you know that the monarch butterflies that live in North America migrate? Monarch butterflies are the only insect to migrate up to 2,500 miles to get out of the cold weather and hibernate. But not all monarch butterflies migrate; only the fourth generation of monarchs can migrate each year because the first three generations die after about six weeks from escaping their cocoons.
Did you know that monarch butterflies go through four generations each year? The first three generations hatch from their cocoon state (also known as the pupa or chrysalis state) and live for up to six weeks, but the fourth generation continues to live on for up to six or eight months so that they can migrate to a warmer climate, hibernate, and then start a new first generation in the spring time.
Female monarch butterflies have several hundred eggs to lay during their short life in the spring time. Monarch butterfly larvae eat milkweed and they need them to live. Did you know that milkweed plants are being cut down to make roads and houses and the monarch butterfly population is decreasing because of this? Conservationists are working hard to bring back the milkweeds so that monarch butterflies have a place to live and grow.
Most people think that monarch butterflies only have two life stages, the cocoon and the butterfly stages. But monarch butterflies actually go through four stages in their life cycle. They start out as an egg, then hatch into larvae (a caterpillar), and then wrap up in the cocoon, and then they go through the metamorphosis into a butterfly while they are in the cocoon.